A £5.2 million project to provide Merseyside Fire & Rescue with a new fire station and built-in community fitness centre has opened.
The Toxteth Fire Fit Hub is situated on the corner of Windsor Street and Upper Warwick Street and is the new base of operations for Merseyside Fire & Rescue. In addition to providing important emergency services the building also includes a youth centre with associated sporting facilities.
The youth centre includes a martial arts studio, a gym & dance studio and a sports hall as well as four five-a-side football pitches.
Fire teams moved into the new building at the beginning of the year however the sports facilities will not open until March when a trial run begins.
Chairman of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor Dave Hanratty, said:
“This fire station is a fantastic facility for our fire fighters and for the local community. Along with the other facilities on the site this is a great opportunity for the Toxteth community and people in the surrounding areas.”
Merseyside Fire & Rescue Project Manager, Sara Lawton, added:
“The Toxteth Fire Fit Hub is completely unique. It was the biggest Fire & Rescue Service project of its kind in the UK and one of the biggest social regeneration projects in Toxteth.
“Together with our partners Liverpool City Council and members of the local community, we have delivered a facility that is second to none.”
Wates Construction was the main contractor on the Toxteth Fire Fit Hub project, whilst expert recruitment consultants Hutton Services Ltd provided Wates with temporary site staff who worked on the project for the entirety of the job.
Alan Batty, Hutton Services Ltd, said:
“Working with Wates Construction we supplied the site with three members of staff including a skilled labourer, a gateman and a young apprentice. We have a great working relationship with Wates Construction and have been supplying the company with site staff for more than five years.
“We are the preferred supplier for Wates and we value our involvement with their projects.”
In addition to the site staff provided by Hutton Services Ltd, six apprentices – aged between 17 and 24 years of age – were also taken on by Wates Construction during the project. The apprentices included, Jacob O’Rourke, Mohamoud Hersi, Connor Duffy, Patrice Kwofie, Daniel Curran and Sean Millican.
The apprentices ranged from plasterers to administrators and quantity surveyors. Speaking about his involvement in the Toxteth Fire Fit Hub project, 20-year old apprentice Connor Duffy, said:
“Since I left school I have wanted to do this and I have recently been working as a labourer on another site. I’m really pleased.”
Twenty-three year-old apprentice, Mohamoud Hersi, who undertook an administration role on the project, added:
“I have always had an interest in apprenticeships that offer the chance to learn from experienced people where you get paid at the same time. Before I did not have such an opportunity but I am on track now.
“Before I did jobs that I did not like, just for the money. I think the Toxteth Fire Fit Hub has changed the whole face of the community. I think this project has changed lives.”